Since I began taking the ERI course and reading the blog, I have made it a personal goal to repaint the picture pro-choice people see of pro-lifers by making a conscious effort to show that being a pro-life woman means I love all people, no matter their race, possession of a disability or lack thereof, political standing, moral viewpoints, or age (from newly-conceived, tiny human until the very end of their lives). And that I am not some weirdo who has somehow, despite being a woman, been brainwashed by an apparently misogynistic culture to have a strange obsession with saving fetuses.
I want to be approachable to pro-choice people who may need to talk out our differences. Often I avoid the topic of abortion and keep my views on abortion to myself until after I establish a friendship, or at least a solid relationship with a person. In this way, a lot of pro-choice people I encounter end up categorized in my brain to be "people I know/people I like/friends" instead of a group that I try to keep as small as possible: my "those people" group. It also helps to be friends with pro-choice people because, if a half dozen pro-choice people get removed from my "those people" group and put into my "people I know/people I like/friends" group, it makes it a lot easier to not put the pro-choice person I'm dialoguing with into my "those people" group.
After reading this article, I admit I am a bit disheartened in my efforts with the realization that it is likely that pro-choice people still see me as a weirdo and a random outlier on the edge of their "those people" group. Do you have any suggestions on how to minimize this problem and encourage other pro-lifers to do the same?
Good article.
I live in a strange reality of being both prolife and liberal-leaning.
That means I can be totally cool listening to progressive videos, and then have all my confidence in the host shattered when the issue of abortion comes up.
All of a sudden, their 'compassion and wisdom' turns into them suddenly becoming "heartless and/or stupid", as your article puts it.
Pretty much the same thing has happened 'in reverse' when I post on prolife blogs.
The one good thing about being in that position, however, is that I really do not see people as being either all good, or all bad based on positions alone, but it is very mind-bending for me.
I must admit, though, that when I deal with posters who seem to be willfully hurtful or overtly hypocritical, I too often lose my composure.
I agree that we have to learn to keep our cool, make our points as effectively as we can, listen to the poster's points AND learn the proper time to quit when dealing with someone who is simply 'playing' us.
It is a balancing act.
Thanks for a good post.
"Sometimes your brain plays tricks on you. . . . If you want to have true beliefs, it helps to know when your perception is untrustworthy."
I believe that by far the best way to bring into consciousness many things that our brains do of which we would otherwise be unconscious, is a regular practice of meditation. (This is just the beginning of the benefits of meditation, but it is the one that is relevant here.) The more time spent in high-quality meditation the better, but to maintain the quality, we have to keep the rest of our lives in order also.